California housing market improves, prices and home sales up!

As housing markets across the country continue to improve, those looking to buy or sell homes in Los Angeles county may be happy to hear California’s housing market posted strong gains in May.

The California Association of Realtors reports home prices were up on both an annual and monthly basis and appear to be stabilizing. May marks the third consecutive month of gains, as the median home price was $309,050, 1 percent up from April and 6.6 percent higher than in May 2011 when the median price was $292,850. While higher prices may not seem desirable for buyers, a stabilized market preserves home values and allows for higher listing prices when selling.

According to CAR, the closed escrow sales of single-family existing homes in California increased 3.4 percent from those in April, reaching a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 572,260 in May. They were up 21.5 percent from May of last year, marking the highest year-over-year sales increase since May 2009. Increased sales also means a lower inventory of homes in California.

“California home sales were strong in May, continuing the gradual recovery of the California housing market,” said CAR President LeFrancis Arnold. “First-time buyers are recognizing that the housing market has hit bottom and are now seeing a sense of urgency to take advantage of ultra-low interest rates and advantageous home prices. Additionally, trade-up buyers are returning to the market after sitting it out for the past few years to get in on favorable home prices.”

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